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The Lean LaunchPad Educators Class

If you are a startup, I highly recommend the Udacity – How To Build a Startup Course.

Steve Blank

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come

Victor Hugo

The Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship curriculum has caught fire. This week 100 educators from around the world will come to Stanford to learn how to teach it.


Life is full of unintended consequences.

Ten years ago I started thinking about why startups are different from existing companies.  I wondered if business plans and 5-year forecasts were the right way to plan a startup.  I asked, “Is execution all there is to starting a company?”

It dawned on me that the plans were a symptom of a larger problem: we were executing business plans when we should first be searching for business models. We were putting the plan before the planning.

So what would a search process for a business model look like? I read a ton of existing literature and came up with a formal…

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Products Conform to Platforms, not Borders

Products conform to platforms, not to borders.

Shrewd entrepreneurs talk about agnostic product launches: “Release, observe, optimize, localize, and repeat.”  If you build great product, they will come – but you don’t know where they will be from.  It is increasingly likely that they won’t be from anywhere near you. Products conform to platforms, not to borders.  User bases are global, as are competitors.  But talent too is global, and international teams empower those open to the possibility of global market opportunity.

We are part of the global entrepreneurial class, an identity that transgresses borders, nationalities, and religion.  Entrepreneurs are a demographic, not a geographic, and their conspicuous creation is driving positive change in our world. Silicon Valley remains a bastion, and a gravitational force.

What does this mean?  How does it impact:

  • The entrepreneur?
  • The entrepreneurial eco-systems?
  • Angel networks?
  • Venture funding?
  • Micro Investments (aka crowd funding)?
  • Mentors and coaches?
  • To Colleges and Universities?